It’s safe to say that today was an irritating day. Do you ever get to that state where tiny little jabs and prods start to affect you so much that they become a part of you? Suddenly you’re the prickly one? Things that shouldn’t even matter are hulking impositions and you realise you just told a mailbox to go fuck itself? It’s an inanimate object. It hasn’t done anything to you but exist and you can’t blame it for being in your way, but you do. Because you’re not acting in a rational state of mind. One thing after another has piled up and that scattered illogical part of your brain tells you that the only way to bring down that imaginary wall of opposition you’ve built is to sound the warhorn and charge. Then someone thinks you’re yelling at them (because yelling at a mailbox is a stupid thing to do) and you feel sheepish and embarrassed and frustrated. Not knowing how to resolve the situation, you dissolve into the crowd before you try to say both “I’m sorry, I wasn’t talking to you” and “I’m such a fucking idiot” and mistakenly yell “I’M SORRY YOU’RE SUCH A FUCKING IDIOT!”
Now that would be silly, wouldn’t it?
Silly comes from silly places and the place the mood had come from was silly indeed. I worked today, it was an optional day to pick up. We’d gone down to a skeleton staff of two people from a team of eight. The way I was sold on picking up this week’s shifts was that the work had been done, we were just filling errant holes. My boss suggested bringing in a bottle of Baileys, making a few Irish coffees. It was gonna be cruisy, slow. In the mean time, we’d get a day in lieu for each day we worked. Why not? I thought. I have nothing better to do. The alternative would be pointless wasted days in front of Netflix. So I signed on for today, tomorrow and Thursday’s half day.
You guys aren’t the kind of idiots that’d yell at a mailbox. You know where this is going. Errors sprung up. There were issues with material, tasks had to be redone. Mistakes had to be fixed. Because I was the most experienced team member (of the two members present. Considering I’ve been there a year, that’s saying something) I had to pull my thumb out of my arse and jump on a few grenades. All the while, new work kept cropping up. It was like coming under an airstrike. We’d find cover, clear the air and come up for breath. After a mere gasp we’d be bombarded with more to do. Relentless. The day that was meant to be spent lazily in the comforting nook of a good book instead kept our faces in the dirt. The right answer was to hold my breath and repeat the mantra of day in lieu, we’re being paid double to be here.
Yet again, you’re not idiots. You know what happened next. I looked up and around and breathed in anything noxious that came my way. I let it in and became infused with anything that could and would annoy me. I know how logic works. I know how to be reasonable. I applied zero of that to thoughts running through my mind. Instead everything that moved got stamped with a big FUCK OFF. New emails? Can’t they solve their own fucking problems? Covering for others? Couldn’t they have done this before they left? People texting me? Leave me alone. Can’t you see I’ve got shit to do right now? Phone notifications? I don’t have time! None of this was anyone else’s fault, but my shields were down and everything I’d usually deflect sunk right in. Reflexively I came out swinging and assigned all blame back to its source. It was the world against me, without the logic that hey, the world keeps spinning on its axis and sometimes that’s enough to throw you off balance.
Which could be why I walked into a mailbox.